Pressure cookers come in handy for preparing all sorts of dishes from stews to desserts. But the greatest and most appealing thing about pressure cookers is its workhorse function. There is nothing as effective in the modern kitchen as a pressure cooker for preparing food items that take a long time to cook such as grains, stocks, rice, and of course, dried beans.
Beans are the archetypal inexpensive, nutritious food. A pound of beans can be purchased for about a dollar or two and even if you invest a little more in purchasing premium high-quality beans, you will still end up saving a dollar here and there compared to may other staples. Please note that while dried beans are perfect for storing for extended periods, they should not be left sitting out for too long. When buying your beans, be sure to buy from a reputable store that sees a high turnover of food items to avoid cooking with old beans.
With your trusty pressure cooker, it is entirely possible to prepare a nice warm bowl of dried beans in under an hour. Obviously, the cooking times will vary based on the type and quality of dried beans being used as well as how long the beans have been stored in your pantry.
Cooking dry beans in a pressure cooker
To prepare an entire pound of beans, you will need to secure at least a large sized 6 to 8-quart pressure cooker. Remember that pressure cookers can only be filled up to a certain level in order to make sure that they are working effectively. To use a smaller pressure cooker, you would need to reduce the amount of beans that you are working with.
Should you pre-soak your beans before cooking?
When cooking beans on a stovetop, it is recommended that you pre-soak them before cooking. The soaking period varies based on the type of bean being used. The great news is that pre-soaking is not actually required when preparing beans using a pressure cooker. If you want, however, you can pre-soak your beans to ensure that they remain intact; unsoaked beans have a tendency to split up when cooked in a pressure cooker. When you pre-soak beans, it will also eliminate the gas-causing sugars that cause bloating.
How to cook dry beans in a pressure cooker
- When cooking beans in a pressure cooker, always follow the recipe or the pressure-cooking time chart if you are an experienced pressure cooker cook.
- If you are working with pre-soaked beans, drain and rinse the beans in cold running water before filling the pressure cooker.
- Cover your clean pre-soaked beans with broth and leave at least 2 inches to allow the beans to expand.
- Add your other ingredients whether veggies or meats, as well as other flavorings and seasonings such as herbs, spices, and peppers.
- Add a tablespoon or two of lard, butter, fat or vegetable oil. Avoid using margarine as it is not fat.
- Seal your pressure cooker and bring the cooker up to 15psi pressure.
- Maintain heat and pressure as indicated by your recipe or cooking chart then use the natural release method before opening the lid.
- Test your beans for doneness by pressing one between your fingers- done beans should be easy to mash.